Work has started on Scotland’s third biggest onshore windfarm which straddles the Dumfries and Galloway/South ayrshire border in Wigtownshire.
Construction work began at the £300 million, 96-turbine Kilgallioch Windfarm, five kilometres south of Barrhill and five kilometres north east of New Luce.
ScottishPower Renewables has started constructing the 55km of tracks (as well as upgrading 14km of existing forest track) across the site that will link the turbines on the project.
The company says that the controversial project, expected to be operational by 2017, will generate enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 130,000 households per year. It also said a community benefit of £30 million would be made available over the 25-year lifespan of the project.
But objectors such as Ben Palmer said in reference to the community benefit: “We get three years of misery on our roads – hopefully, we will not get a death as we did for Arecleoch when a Spanish driver drove on the wrong side of the road.“We also get a further drop in tourism (which we can ill afford) and a further drop in house values. On the jobs front, we will get two rangers to pick up the dead birds in the unlikely event that anyone actually wants to walk this fully turbinised section of the Southern Upland Way.”
The first turbine deliveries are expected to begin in February 2016, with first power production due in November 2016, followed by full operation of the site in the first half of 2017.
Stuart Mason, Construction Director at ScottishPower Renewables said: “This will be ScottishPower Renewables’ second largest windfarm, and the third largest overall in the UK. We currently have more than 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of installed onshore wind capacity in the UK, and Kilgallioch will help us on our way to achieving a 2 GW milestone – enough to power over 1 million homes.”
ScottishPower Renewables first started consultation on Kilgallioch in 2008 before submitting a planning application to the Scottish Government in March 2010.